How would one go about defining “ultramontanism”? What do ultramontanists believe? Are there any ultramontanists running around these days? If so, is it merely a school of thought within Roman Catholicism, or is it in fact the official stance of the Roman Catholic Church?
The Catholic Encyclopedia discusses the origins of the term, and how it developed into a term of derision used by opponents of the Papacy. At the same time, the author of the article seems to identify the ultramontane position with the authentic position of the Church, as denoting an “integral and active Catholicism, because it recognizes as its spiritual head the pope, who, for the greater part of Europe, is a dweller beyond the mountains (ultra montes), that is, beyond the Alps.”
Some bonus questions: Was the First Vatican Council a triumph of ultramontanism, with its solemn definition of papal infallibility? If so, does the Second Vatican Council represent a corrective to Vatican I ultramontanism?
Are there any good resources, from a Catholic perspective, dealing with the issue of ultramontanism and its relationship to the authentic teaching and practice of the Roman Catholic Church?